Senator recognizes the need for more computer courses

November 17, 2011 at 5:12 am 2 comments

It’s a short piece, but it makes the point that Senator Casey gets it — CS education is shrinking, just as the demand is growing.

The availability of introductory high school computer science courses has decreased by 17 percent since 2005, he said, and the number of Advanced Placement computer science courses has dropped by 33 percent.

“Just when we need more students to focus on this course of study it’s going in the wrong direction and rapidly in the wrong direction,” Mr. Casey said.

Moreover, women and minorities are under-represented among those taking existing courses, he said.

via Sen. Casey urges more computer courses.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. richde  |  November 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    None of which is helped when “computing” is explicitly excluded from the currently popular “STEM” education initiatives.

  • 2. Mike Byrne  |  November 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I can’t see how this is surprising in any way. We have manufactured the illusion that we, as a nation, are broke and have to massively cut public sector spending. As a result, public education (K-12 especially) faces massive budget cuts in most states.

    What’s going to get cut? Well, we know it’s not going to be football. Instead, it’s going to be anything not considered “core” curriculum. Art and music are being wiped out in many school districts. CS seems like the next mostly likely candidate, since it’s a subject with which the modal school administrator / school board member has little understanding. Parents, similarly, are unlikely to get up in arms about this being cut at the K-12 level. It’s a “safe” thing for an administrator or board member to put on the chopping block.

    The long-term consequences are potentially bad, sure, but school districts have to make their budget targets. They know there will be backlash if they cut math or english, so why not cut CS?

    What *is* amazing is that there’s a Senator who [a] gets that this is a bad thing, and [b] is actively trying to do something about it. Very good sign!


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